Today, staff has announced that local wiki administrators will be able to disable editing by anonymous/unregistered users. This is the first time that Wikia has placed this ability in the hands of local users. However, deciding to allow or prohibit anonymous editing is a significant decision that should be made on a community level, not an administrative one. Therefore, I'm bringing the matter up here for consideration. The question is simply whether we want to allow editing by anonymous users, or restrict anonymous user edits.
There are several possible positives and negatives to disabling anonymous editing. Disabling anon editing should reduce the amount of vandalism on the wiki, simply because fewer people will bother to register an account in order to vandalize. Additionally, those vandals that do register accounts will be easier to block, since they won't be able to jump to a different IP address without also registering a new account. Ideally, disabling anon editing would also encourage prospective users into creating an account, rather than making an edit under an IP and then leaving. And, ensuring that all users editing on TSW are registered might aid us in building a community, communicating with members, and establishing more permanent members.
On the other hand, it is possible that disabling anon editing will do more harm than good. Many users start their editing "careers" as anons (I did, for example), and may not be motivated enough to create an account. Locking editing by anons may increase the number of accounts created, but it might not have an impact on keeping people around or helping in building a community. There may be a number of people who edit the wiki constructively but have not registered an account for personal reasons, and who will be potentially shut out if anon editing is disabled. Ultimately, cutting off anon editing may cause a decline in activity on the wiki, and may not actually do much to curb vandalism.
I'm sure there are several other valid points on both sides of the issue. No doubt this is a matter that deserves serious consideration and discussion. -- LostInRiverview talk • blog • contribs 02:37, July 23, 2015 (UTC)
Strong oppose per Wikipedia:IPs are human too. We do have IP editors that contribute constructively, even if they don't stick around for long. Many of our IP editors drop in once or twice to fix typos or grammar, and they're still better than nothing. While a lot of vandalism is caused by IP editors, a large proportion of IP edits are not vandalism. Disabling IP editing may not even reduce the amount of vandalism by a significant amount, since dedicated vandals won't mind taking two minutes to register an account.
The only time I will support this measure is during cases where protect site may also be warranted. It will save us the intermediary of poking the VSTF if there are IP-hopping spambots attacking the wiki. This will also replace the never-before enabled filter 7, which was created with such attacks in mind. It's rare that we'll ever come to a point where such measures are warranted. --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 02:56, July 23, 2015 (UTC)
Strong oppose Basically due to the reason that k6ka has given. I don't remember a massive IP vandal attack, and long-term vandals often went around mucking with accounts as given by the likes of Corymach7 or ILoveSims5 MILK FOR THE UNYUUFEX, FLAT CHEST FOR THE CUTENESS THRONE, SKULLS FOR THE SKULL PROBES (user talk:Mathetesalexandrou) 03:10, July 23, 2015 (UTC)
strong oppose As a countervandalism floodgate, definitely, but those situations are too incredibly rare to justify a complete, always-on block, scaring away potential contributors and making the site less welcoming; I've seen several newer users state that they've edited as an anon for a period of time before registering, and if this was enabled we would have lost users. I believe its best left for scenarios of vandalism that are extreme, persistent, and anonymous, which is far too rare. ―ฬђ talk 08:52, July 23, 2015 (UTC)